Search      Hot    Newest Novel
HOME > Biographical > Tropic Of Cancer > Part 14 Chapter 2
Font Size:【Large】【Middle】【Small】 Add Bookmark  
Part 14 Chapter 2

One night, in desperation, I dragged my friend Joe to a synagogue, during the service. It was a Reformed congregation, and the rabbi impressed me rather favorably. The music got me too – that piercing lamentation of the Jews. As soon as the service was over I marched to the rabbi's study and requested an interview with him. He received me decently enough – until I made clear my mission. Then he grew absolutely frightened. I had only asked him for a handout on behalf of my friend Joe and myself. You would have thought, from the way he looked at me, that I had asked to rent the synagogue as a bowling alley. To cap it all, he suddenly asked me pointblank if I was a Jew or not. When I answered no, he seemed perfectly outraged. Why, pray, had I come to a Jewish pastor for aid? I told him naively that I had always had more faith in the Jews than in the Gentiles. I said it modestly, as if it were one of my peculiar defects. It was the truth too. But he wasn't a bit flattered. No, siree. He was horrified. To get rid of me he wrote out a note to the Salvation Army people. "That's the place for you to address yourself," he said, and brusquely turned away to tend his flock.


The Salvation Army, of course, had nothing to offer us. If we had had a quarter apiece we might have rented a mattress on the floor. But we hadn't a nickel between us. We went to the park and stretched ourselves out on a bench. It was raining and so we covered ourselves with newspapers. Weren't there more than a half hour, I imagine, when a cop came along and, without a word of warning, gave us such a sound fanning that we were up and on our feet in a jiffy, and dancing a bit too, though we weren't in any mood for dancing. I felt so goddamned sore and miserable, so dejected, so lousy, after being whacked over the ass by that half witted bastard, that I could have blown up the City Hall.


The next morning, in order to get even with these hospitable sons of bitches, we presented ourselves bright and early at the door of a Catholic priest. This time I let Joe do the talking. He was Irish and he had a bit of a brogue. He had very soft, blue eyes, too, and he could make them water a bit when he wanted to. A sister in black opened the door for us; she didn't ask us inside, however. We were to wait in the vestibule until she went and called for the good father. In a few minutes he came, the good father, puffing like a locomotive. And what was it we wanted disturbing his likes at that hour of the morning? Something to eat and a place to flop, we answered innocently. And where did we hail from, the good father wanted to know at once. From New York. From New York, eh? Then ye'd better be gettin' back there as fast as ye kin, me lads, and without another word the big, bloated turnip faced bastard shoved the door in our face.


About an hour later, drifting around helplessly like a couple of drunken schooners, we happened to pass by the rectory again. So help me God if the big, lecherous looking turnip wasn't backing out of the alley in a limousine! As he swung past us he blew a cloud of smoke into our eyes. As though to say – "That for you!" A beautiful limousine it was, with a couple of spare tires in the back, and the good father sitting at the wheel with a big cigar in his mouth. Must have been a Corona Corona, so fat and luscious it was. Sitting pretty he was, and no two ways about it: I couldn't see whether he had skirts on or not. I could only see the gravy trickling from his lips – and the big cigar with that fifty cent aroma.


All the way to Dijon I got to reminiscing about the past. I thought of all the things I might have said and done, which I hadn't said or done, in the bitter, humiliating moments when just to ask for a crust of bread is to make yourself less than a worm. Stone sober as I was, I was still smarting from those old insults and injuries.


I could still feel that whack over the ass which the cop gave me in the park – though that was a mere bagatelle, a little dancing lesson, you might say. All over the States I wandered, and into Canada and Mexico. The same story everywhere. If you want bread you've got to get in harness, get in lock step. Over all the earth a gray desert, a carpet of steel and cement. Production! More nuts and bolts, more barbed wire, more dog biscuits, more lawn mowers, more ball bearings, more high explosives, more tanks, more poison gas, more soap, more toothpaste, more newspapers, more education, more churches, more libraries, more museums. Forward! Time presses. The embryo is pushing through the neck of the womb, and there's not even a gob of spit to ease the passage. A dry, strangulating birth. Not a wail, not a chirp. Salut au monde! Salute of twenty one guns bombinating from the rectum. "I wear my hat as I please, indoors or out," said Walt. That was a time when you could still get a hat to fit your head. But time passes. To get ............

Join or Log In! You need to log in to continue reading

Login into Your Account

  Remember me on this computer.

All The Data From The Network AND User Upload, If Infringement, Please Contact Us To Delete! Contact Us
About Us | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Tag List | Recent Search  
©2010-2018, All Rights Reserved